FRANCIS PAUL SIAH
COMMENT There is always a time for some serious reflection or some prefer to call it recollection.
Each one of us must have gone through that process of reviewing our achievements and failures in life at one time or another.
It has been said that “time spent in self-reflection is never wasted; it is an intimate date with yourself”.
Three months into the job, perhaps it’s worth his while for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to do some serious reflection. There must be a lot going on in his mind.
Now on 14-day quarantine at home and over the joyous Hari Raya season, Muhyiddin must have plenty of time to do that.
It helps to be in a familiar environment at home, surrounded by family and loved ones. It’s even better if you are quarantined alone – staring blankly at the four walls of your room will surely help in motivating you to dissect your life intimately. It’s just you looking at yourself in the mirror.
When you are in self-isolation in your room, the trappings of power and the world outside no longer exist. Being prime minister also seems no longer relevant.
Let me attempt to help my prime minister on a little reflection. Yes, Muhyiddin is my prime minister today. I have to accord him that respect although I did not vote for him to be my prime minister in GE14. I supported Dr Mahathir Mohamad to be the transition PM, followed by Anwar Ibrahim.
Muhyiddin would surely have wished today that he became PM on March 1 via the front door, not by treacherous dealings and betrayals.
He told Malaysians a blatant lie when he declared that he agreed to be prime minister in order to “save Malaysia”. Oh, really?
Now we know, from Liew Chin Tong’s revelations, that Muhyiddin had asked for DAP’s support to be the PM candidate before GE14. Liew has no reason to lie on this.
After Pakatan Harapan’s historic GE14 victory, Muhyiddin also wanted to be finance minister and was disappointed that Mahathir only appointed him as the home minister.
It’s now clear that in his 22 months in the Mahathir cabinet, Muhyiddin was a discontented man but was buying time to make his move to achieve his ultimate political goal. Even his brush with pancreatic cancer did not sidetrack him.
That opportunity came when an equally ambitious and treacherous Azmin Ali became his partner in crime. Time will tell how comfortable Muyhiddin is with Azmin today. Talk is that the prime minister is constantly watching his back, and wary of the Brutus(es) around him. Someone also mentioned karma.
Well, the head never rules the heart but just becomes its partner in crime, so it has been aptly said. For all we know, Muhyiddin’s heart could be aching with pain. I honestly doubt he is a happy, contented man today.
From that first day, I also doubt Muhyiddin was beaming all the way to the palace to be sworn in as PM8 on March 1. He did not hold a celebration with his co-conspirators for he probably knew in his heart that there was really nothing to celebrate.
The legitimacy of his Perikatan Nasional government was still in doubt. Muhyiddin knew the majority of Malaysians were aghast and furious that the government they voted for was stolen from them by traitors from within Harapan. And he, Muhyiddin, was one of them.
The next day, he issued a public apology to Mahathir, his mentor and boss for a good part of his political career. Not surprisingly, Mahathir refused to see him, not after his prime minister’s post was stolen by his protégé in broad daylight.
Then came the Covid-19 pandemic which plunged the nation into an unprecedented lock-down. With the effects of the global economic downturn besieging the country and the ongoing political uncertainties, the past three months was no honeymoon for the embattled Muhyiddin.
Politically, the prime minister also has his hands full trying to please all his allies.
Just look at his bloated cabinet. For starters, Muhyiddin has to make the Azmin camp happy, appointing every single one of his nine turncoat members of Parliament (MPs) into ministerial positions.
Two traitor MPs from Sarawak were also made deputy ministers. When you are part of the Azmin cartel, you will get your rewards. This is the way Azmin is known to operate.
With insufficient ministerial portfolios to satiate the power-hungry wolves, from notably his Umno and PAS allies, Muhyiddin now has to dish out appointments to government-linked companies to other MPs.
Eventually, the PM might have to create unnecessary/irrelevant boards at some ministries just to ensure that everyone is given a “second salary”. And at whose expense? The suffering rakyat, of course.
Well, Muhyiddin, my most important question to you is: Is it all worth it now?
In a previous article, I’ve asked what’s the big deal being prime minister anyway? That was meant for Mukhriz Mahathir.
Now that you are prime minister, Muhyiddin, may I also ask: “Is being prime minister really such a big deal?”
Honestly, if you want to leave behind a legacy, I doubt you have much time to do so given the current chaotic political climate and unfavourable economic situation.
Talk among Malaysians is that you will be the shortest prime minister in Malaysian history.
I would not even go into your personal health issues, but I wish you well on that.
And seriously, I don’t think you want to be prime minister again in your next life. Do you?
FRANCIS PAUL SIAH heads the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) and can be reached at email@example.com.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.